Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Funny River Festival celebrates 25th Anniversary
Traveling the Funny River Road wasn’t very funny 25 years ago when the first Funny River Chamber of Commerce Community Association Festival was inaugurated. It was a bumpy, dusty trip but in the end was a slice of pioneer America and a community bound together by the Alaskan spirit. “As in most small communities, our festival began by a few Funny River homesteaders organizing together and planning a fun day for the children. As time has gone by our festival has grown, as has our community,” said the co-chair of the anniversary festival Rose Scott. When the road was paved in 1991, you guessed it the parade theme was; “Paving the Way!” said Scott, “This year our theme was Forget-Me-Not Funny River Alaska and our logo was a forget-me-not wreath encircling a caribou head.”

Kenai’s Finance Director selected for International honors
Kenai Mayor Pat Porter proudly presented her City’s Finance Director Larry Semmens with the highly esteemed Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The award was issued by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). Semmens received the Certificate on behalf of the City’s finance department, “The City of Kenai Finance Department strives for excellence, especially in financial reporting. We are pleased to receive this award from the Government Finance Officers Association because it confirms that our financial statements meet the highest standards for financial reporting. Although my name is on the award, I could not achieve this without the help of the entire finance team of Robin Feltman, Heather Lawson, Susan Joy and Jenifer Lockwood,” said Semmens.

Returning Dartmouth Grad buys Echo Lake Feed
It’s been called the “Alaskan brain drain” and the cause of the aging population demographic that has become a concern to Alaskan economists and political leaders. Simply stated the children of the generation of young people who migrated to Alaska over the last three decades have left the state and are starting their adult lives elsewhere. So when one of the community’s young adults return home with an Ivy League degree and purchase a local business its cause to celebrate. Such a celebration took place recently at the grand re-opening of Echo Lake Feed, on Echo Lake Rd. just south of Soldotna, now under the entrepreneurship of Kasilof born Janelle Moerlein.

Local Subway is serious about Healthy Changes
For many years Subway restaurants have been encouraging Americans to make healthy changes in their dietary selections, and now local Subway franchise owner Mike Northcutt has purchased the Healthy Changes fitness club next door to his K-Beach Rd. Subway location. “I took a look at it from a business perspective to see if there was a synergy between the health club and our Subway health conscious message and being that we are not located next to a major retailer we were already relying on our neighbor Healthy Changes for our visibility so it seemed to be a perfect fit to promote this location,” said Northcutt.

There I was down town Anchorage attending safety classes at the Merriott Motel and watching all the tourist from all over the world file in and out of the motel. Huge tour buses dropped off or picked up large groups of people from all over the world all day long. I walked around the down town area of Anchorage viewing the tourist and studying the places they went and the items they were picking out of some of the souvenir and gift shops.

Reader points finger at poor management
It just so happens I was at Kenai Landing about a week ago. My, what a ghostly affair. The dock was full as was the river: dipnetters. The warehouse, however, was empty.

Reader: Salmon or not
The Kenai River sportfishing machine works by guides angling for sucker (their clients) clients fishing for salmon. Sportfishing guides push for more sport fishing permits, bigger boats, larger engine horsepower and more fish up the river. All factors at the same time devaluing the client experience, damaging the river banks, bluffs and river bed, as more salmon are fighting for less favorable spawning geography in the bottom of the river and its tributaries.

Games’ donation makes life a little easier for others
There are many ways the community has blessed us here at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. Recently the Arctic Winter Games provided surplus food products, office supplies, desk chairs, a computer, printer and miscellaneous items to our organization. These items help those of us who are on limited budgets serve Kenai Peninsula hungry residents. The board of directors and staff are very thankful for these items that make our daily tasks a little easier.

Abandoned Sterling fish plant burns to ground
Flames were shooting 100 feet in the air as Central Emergency Services arrived at a Monday night fire, which is being investigated as "suspicious."

Bridge girder work rolling on
With bridge workers appearing to be up to the task of placing huge steel girders across the Kenai River, the state’s project engineer is still predicting the Soldotna bridge will be done by October.

‘Suspicious’ fire destroys Sterling building
Flames shot 100 feet in the air as Central Emergency Services arrived at a Monday night fire, which is being investigated as “suspicious.”

Wildlife enforcement officers spread thin
Summer is a busy time for those who enjoy fishing and hunting, and an even busier time for those charged with the task of making sure the harvest of fish, fowl and furry animals is done legally.

House forum addresses timely issues
Candidates for the Alaska State House of Representatives District 33 seat squared off in a forum-style debate Tuesday that had the group of three agreeing on solutions — but not details — for most of the issues presented.

Peninsula summer tourist season a mixed bag
Late-arriving red salmon, high gasoline prices and even cloudy weather seemed to have conspired to create a mixed-bag summer tourist season in the central Kenai Peninsula, say visitor industry members.

Growing in every sector: Murkowski notes positive changes from administration
Editor’s note: This is the first of five opinion columns the Clarion will run from the front-runners in the gubernatorial race for the primary election on Aug. 22.

Seeking an honest leader: Binkley aims to restore trust with ethics platform
Editor’s note: This is the second of five opinion columns the Clarion will run from the front-runners in the gubernatorial race for the primary election on Aug. 22.

Around the Peninsula
Hospital entrance closed Self-defense class offered SoHi holding registration Volunteers needed for run CPHC seeks board members Chili contest planned Fraternity to celebrate anniversary Radiothon set to go School supplies sought

Around the Peninsula
Teacher contracts to be announced Fish Game loosens Kenai fishing regs Fishing adventure set Nutrition classes held at food bank Flag football slated Garage sale fundraiser planned Senior center to celebrate anniversary Church begins formal meetings Rock, alpine gardens to be discussed

Oilers can’t take the Heat at NBC
Costly walks and errors led to the end of the Peninsula Oilers’ season Monday at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.

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